Thousands set to hit Ottawa-Gatineau's streets for today's marathon
Heat could be big concern as temperature set to rise
Thousands of people, including elite runners from around the world, have descended on Ottawa-Gatineau for today's marathon — but the weather may pose a challenge.
The full marathon is set to get underway at 7 a.m., followed by the kids' marathon at 8 a.m. and the half-marathon at 9 a.m.
Temperatures are expected to hit 25 C, although it could feel more like 30 with the humidity. Skies will be cloudy, with a chance of showers or thundershowers in the afternoon.
Despite similar conditions Saturday, thousands of people still turned out for the two-kilometre, five-kilometre and 10-kilometre races.
Andres Beltran and his daughter Ella were all smiles as they crossed the finish line on the first day of Ottawa Race Weekend, having just run their first five-kilometre race together.
"It's a very inspiring moment and a very exciting time to do a run with one of your children. I think it's a first of many," he said, adding that they were running in the memory of his mother, who died of cancer years ago.
Another father and daughter pair, Montreal's Egan and Sabrina Sandy, were celebrating Sabrina's Grade 11 graduation by participating in their first race together.
"[I'm] definitely really tired. Incredibly tired," Sabrina remarked moments after they crossed the finish line.
Others chose to run for their health or to raise money for a cause.
"I've never done one and I just wanted some motivation," said Sarah Marsaw, who raised $175 for Bruyère Continuing Care in Ottawa.
Race bibs feature butterflies
Tina Boileau also crossed the finish line in the five-kilometre race with her daughter — but said the moment was bittersweet.
"Jonathan would have been very proud," Boileau said, referring to her son Jonathan Pitre, who died last month at the age of 17.
Pitre had been undergoing treatment for Epidermolysis bullosa, a painful skin condition that made his skin as delicate as a butterfly's wing.
This year's 5K race bibs featured a butterfly on them in his memory.
"He should have been here with us," Boileau said. "It was our welcome home event, but he was in our hearts the whole time."
Paramedics were out on bicycles, helping with any incidents along the route.
The Ottawa Hospital also set up a field hospital near the finish line along Queen Elizabeth Driveway in an attempt not to overwhelm local emergency rooms.
The makeshift emergency room is prepared to deal with most medical concerns, said Marc-Antoine Deschamps, spokesperson for the Ottawa Paramedic Service.
Deschamps said many of Saturday's injuries were due to heat exhaustion. They were all treated at the satellite facility, he said.